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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

Once a woman friend of mine dressed herself up as
a female Apache, with a black shawl and a red rose
in her ear. She painted her face very much and we
went round Montparnasse arm-in-arm. We looked
so realistic that no one suspected that we were in
fancy dress. Wassilieff gave her annual party. We
collected Modigliani and the sculptor. Hunt Die-
derich, who had just had a great success at the
Salon des Independants with his cc Levriers" Hunt
went dressed as an Arab. He brought a huge
copper kettle from his studio which he filled with
beer, and we made Modigliani carry it. Guillaume
Apollinaire was there. After a time Modigliani de-
cided to undress. He wore a long red scarf round
his waist like the French workmen. Everyone knew
exactly when he was going to undress, as he usually
attempted to after a certain hour. We seized him and
tied up the red scarf and sat him down. Everyone
danced and sang and enjoyed themselves till the
morning.
I went to the Salon d'Automne. There I saw a
portrait of a young man. It was not a very good
portrait but the young man so impressed me that
I stood for a long time before it. It was of a youth
of about twenty with a long pale face and slanting
eyes, with his coat-collar turned up. He looked sad
and hungry. That night at the Rotonde he walked
in. He did not seem to know anybody. For
months I stared at him and when Modigliani slept
on my shoulder I looked over his curly head at the
young man's pale face. He fascinated me and dis-
turbed my thoughts. I worked in the mornings at
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